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Barra Sabbatical Fellowship in Early American Studies


Applications/Letters of Recommendation for Barra Sabbatical fellowship must be submitted on line by December 6, 2019

The McNeil Center for Early American Studies expects to appoint postdoctoral fellows in two distinct categories for terms beginning in 2020. Each fellow will enjoy private office space in the Center’s building at the northeastern gateway to the University of Pennsylvania campus; library, computer, and other privileges at the university; and access to the Philadelphia area’s magnificent manuscript, rare book, and museum collections. Within the parameters described below, applications are welcome from scholars whose work focuses on any aspect of the histories and cultures of North America in the Atlantic world before 1850. Proposals reliant on research in Philadelphia-area archives, libraries, and museums are especially welcome.

Barra Sabbatical Fellowship
(9 months, 2020-2021)

This award is for a nine-month term beginning 1 September 2020. This fellowship is designed for a scholar in any relevant discipline who will be on leave from a tenured or tenure-track faculty position for the 2020–2021 academic year. Proposals will be entertained for book-length projects falling with in the Center’s area of interest at any stage of research or writing, provided that the applicant has not previously received McNeil Center funding for the same or a closely related project. The fellow will have no teaching responsibilities but will be encouraged to provide informal mentoring to more junior members of the McNeil Center community while participating fully in the Center’s seminars and other activities. The award takes the form of a cash grant, paid directly to the fellow's home institution. The amount is negotiable, based on the assumption that the fellow will be receiving benefits and partial salary from the home institution.

Applications for the Barra Sabbatical fellowship must be submitted on line by 6 December 2019

The following items must be prepared for uploading as .pdf files: a curriculum vitae; a proposal not to exceed 1,500 words, double-spaced, describing the general scope of the project and the specific work proposed during the fellowship term; and an unpublished writing sample related to the project, double-spaced, limited to 7,500 words exclusive of notes.

Two confidential letters of support should be uploaded separately by the letter writers or submitted by email to Please ask recommenders to address the specifics of this application. Do not send generic letters from job placement dossiers.

Questions may be directed to:

The McNeil Center for Early American Studies
University of Pennsylvania
3355 Woodland Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4531

Application date
Date of residence
9 months
America : United States (Mid-Atlantic)
Humanities : History
Required post-doc experience
Between 0 and 99 years
Grants available
Award granted